Birch Bark Issue #71

Happy Friday! I went back into the office for the first time in 15 months this week and it was very weird. Most people aren’t back yet, but it was nice to work somewhere other than my home office/video game room/YouTube studio. It was also just nice to…you know…see people in person again.

On the other hand, losing the freedom to run downstairs and do something in the kitchen or living room is annoying. Also accounting for a commute is more annoying than I remember. And worst of all, my new hybrid schedule has me in the office Thursdays, which just so happens to be the day I would take a little time to write this email each week, and I don’t really want to do that in the office because well, they’re not paying me to send out my free newsletter 😂

Long story short, I’m writing this very early in the morning, so I apologize if there are more typos than normal or if breaking news happens Thursday afternoon that I don’t get in here, but I hope you can forgive me. Have a great weekend!


Windows 11 leaked online this week, and it came with a bunch of new, really nice wallpapers. I of course wanted these on my phone so I converted most of them for you.

Magneto’s op-ed might be the most important article of the year:

I put on my newest, most purple helmet and my best cape, and I manipulated the Earth’s magnetic field to fly myself to Ohio as fast as I could. I was so excited to recruit new members for the Brotherhood of Mutants and to stand together against the scourge of petty, small-minded humanity using our combined powers.

And let me tell you, I was pretty let down.

Charli Marie is one of my favorite “designer personalities” online and her annual income report is always interesting.

I always love digging in to the data and writing these annual reports after the close of my business accounting year, but I’m even more excited than usual for this one. I’m pleased to report that I more than doubled my side hustle income in the past year.

This is a good summary of the changes web designers are going to need to take into account with the updated version of Safari coming to iPhone, iPad, and Macs this fall.

And because I can’t seem to make it a week without something political, there’s new information on how far Trump’s efforts to overturn a free and fair election went:

An hour before President Donald J. Trump announced in December that William P. Barr would step down as attorney general, the president began pressuring Mr. Barr’s eventual replacement to have the Justice Department take up his false claims of election fraud.


First up is Johnny Harris on why he and his wife left the Mormon church after growing up deep in the church. I was raised in a religious home as well, and while my story of leaving is far less challenging than what Harris describes, his story really resonated with me.

Hank Green has some good advice for how to combat vaccine misinformation. Also while I’m at it, Vlogbrothers is a 10+ year running series where Hank and his brother, John Green, make videos for each other every Tuesday and Friday. It’s wonderful and I really suggest you subscribe.

Notion rolled out a new feature this week, and Thomas Frank did the best job of explaining what they are and why they’re cool, all in less than 2 minutes.

And wrapping things up we have Rene Ritchie has an interview with two Apple folks and they go deep on the Apple Watch’s history and some of its design philosophies.